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Czech Avant-Garde – Photomontage

Země pruhů a hvězd, díl I–II [The land of stripes and stars, part I–II]. In two volumes.

Prague: Fr. Borový, 1929–30. Quartos (24.9 × 20.3 cm). Original pictorial half cloth with paper-covered boards, illustrated by Antonín Chlebeček; 510, [6] and 772, [8] pp. With numerous, partly full-page photographic illustrations.

Second edition of the two-volume work on the USA. The photomontage by Antonín Chlebeček uses the skyscrapers, which have become iconic, to make it clear at first glance to the European audience that the volumes are about North America. Numerous photomontages of this period use the architecture of the skyscrapers as an image signal, as it were, referring to American culture. Worth mentioning, for example, are some covers Heartfield designed for the German editions of Upton Sinclair's novels. The buildings became the ideal of Constructivism that had to be surpassed. Thus Lissitzky summed up in 1929: "The overcoming of the foundation, of earthboundness, goes even further and demands the overcoming of gravity itself. Demands the floating body, the physical-dynamic architecture." (Braunschweig 1989, p. 46). For this utopia, he can gather numerous designs created in the twenties. For example, his 1924 plans of the "cloud hangers" which push the principle of the "skyscraper" further. The vertical skyscrapers are to function only as "elevator towers," while horizontal extensions and superstructures seem to float at great heights above the streets and squares.

The illustrations in the book show not only architecture, technology and nature, but above all everyday scenes.

Toman 4.3.9; not in Vloemans.

As of November 2022, OCLC lists seven copies in North America.

Book ID: 52540

Price: $450.00